Cheddar Pear Scones
These crumbly buttery scones studded with tender pears are a beguiling sweet and savory breakfast treat. Best served immediately or gently reheated the next day.
1 peeled, cored and diced Bartlett or Green Anjou USA Pear, about ¾ cup
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, preferably white
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and blend using a pastry blender or two butter knives. Add the cheese, milk, and egg and stir until the dough begins to come together, then add the pears.
Generously flour working surface and place the dough on top. Sprinkle the dough with flour and pat into a 7-inch circle. Cut circle into 6 wedges. Transfer wedges to a non-stick or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Allow at least 2 inches between each scone. Bake until firm and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Caramel Pear Galette
Easier than pie! This free form fruit tart is terrific with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of crème fraiche.
1 refrigerated pie crust (9-inch)
3 tablespoons of caramel sauce, divided
3 ripe Red or Green Anjou USA Pears
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon granulated or turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring pie crust to room temperature as directed on package. Unroll the pie crust on a non-stick or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread one tablespoon of caramel topping on the crust, leaving a 1 ½-inch border.
Peel, quarter and core the pears. Slice each quarter lengthwise into 4 even slices. Place pear slices in a bowl and toss with cinnamon and flour. Starting in the center, arrange the slices on the dough in a spoke pattern, in overlapping layers as necessary to fit and leaving a 1 ½-inch border. Drizzle the pear slices with 1 tablespoon of caramel topping. Fold the edge of the crust over the tart. Brush the top of the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 30 minutes or until crust is lightly brown. Let galette cool 10 minutes. Drizzle top of the fruit with the remaining tablespoon of caramel topping before serving.
Canned Pear Halves
1 lemon, juiced
3 quarts water, divided
6 pounds Bartlett USA Pears, peeled, halved, and cored
2 cups sugar
Mix lemon juice and 2 quarts water in a large bowl. As you prepare each pear half, you’ll place it in this water to keep it from browning. Trim the stem ends of pear halves and discard them. Place pears into bowl of lemon water. Prepare the syrup by combining remaining quart of water and the sugar in a large (5 or 6 quart) pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears from the lemon water to the boiling syrup. Return to a boil and cook pears in syrup for 2 minutes. Using a canning funnel, pack pears into wide-mouth pint-size jars. When all jars are full, pour the remaining syrup over the pears to cover them, leaving ¼-inch headspace in jars. Wipe the rims of the jars spotlessly clean. Look for any air bubbles and pop them with a plastic knife. Set lids on jars, and screw bands on finger-tight. Process jars in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Remove jars from kettle using jar-lifter tongs and gently set aside to cool on a kitchen towel in a draft-free place. Let rest for 24 hours, then check for proper seal before storing.
Brown Sugar Pear Butter
“Use golden ripe Bartlett pears for this recipe, not green ones. This is the perfect opportunity to use up pears that might be getting a bit soft. This rich and complex pear butter recipe is perfect for spreading on toast, but also great with whipped cream cheese on a bagel, or in recipes, like layering it in the middle of oat bars or to top off jam thumbprint-type cookies.”
3 pounds perfectly ripe Bartlett USA Pears (about 5 large pears)
¼ cup water
1-2 cups brown sugar
½ vanilla bean (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
Wash, then quarter and core pears, placing them in a heavy-bottom preserving pan as you work. Add water. Do not add more liquid, the pears will create liquid as they cook!
Bring to a simmer over low heat, then cover tightly with a lid to keep heat and moisture in. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until pears have softened, then remove pan from heat. Mash pears with a potato masher until they are mushy (approximately 15-30 seconds).
Place food mill over a bowl, then scoop pear mush into the food mill. Crank away until all that remains in the food mill is a small amount of pear skins/peels. Discard or compost the skins. Measure the pear puree back into the preserving pan, keeping track of the amount of pear puree you end up with; you’ll want to add half that much brown sugar to the pear puree mixture. (For example, for 2 cups of pear puree, you’ll add 1 cup of brown sugar.)
Add one 2-3-inch piece of vanilla bean. Add the remaining spices into the pear puree mixture. Stir well to combine. Cook approximately one hour over low heat, simmering constantly. It will be more of a burble than a simmer, because of the thickening nature of the pear butter.
Once desired thickness has been achieved, remove the preserving pan from the heat and remove the vanilla bean, then spoon mixture immediately into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace.
Note: If you are using vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, add it at the end of the cooking process, when you would normally be removing the vanilla bean.
At this point you can either cover jars with tight-fitting lids (and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months) or you can process by following the next steps:
Look for any air bubbles in the jars and if you see any, use a knife to remove them before wiping rims clean and sealing according to USDA instructions. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
yield: Makes approximately 3 half pints
Bread Stuffing with Pears Bacon Caramelized Onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
10 cups unseasoned dry bread cubes
8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ¼ pounds frozen pearl onions, thawed and blotted dry
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 firm but ripe Bosc or Anjou USA Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into ¾-inch dice
3 large ribs celery, chopped
2/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a deep 9-by-13-inch baking pan with the butter. Place the bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. In a 10-inch saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon drain the bacon and add to the bread in the bowl. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan, reserving the extra. Add the onions to the pan and saute over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and saute, stirring constantly, until the onions turn golden and the edges caramelize, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the bread in the bowl.
Return the pan to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the pears and celery and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the parsley, thyme, sage, salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and saute 1 minute longer. Add this mixture to the bread cubes, and stir to combine. Add the beaten eggs and stock to the bowl, and mix well. Place the stuffing in the prepared pan and bake, uncovered, until the top is lightly browned and crusty, about 1 hour.
yield: Serves 12
Bosc Pear Lasagna with Almonds and Brie
4 Bosc USA Pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons ground anise, divided
4 cups white cream sauce
12 uncooked lasagna sheets
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 pound Brie cheese, divided
2 ¼ ounces toasted sliced almonds
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 tablespoon anise and ½ pound of Brie with cream sauce. Mix ricotta, eggs, remaining anise, and remaining brie. Season to taste. Combine pears with ricotta mixture.
Ladle 4 ounces of cream sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 11-inch baking pan. Layer the pan with 4 uncooked lasagna sheets. Top the lasagna with half of the pear and ricotta mixture. Top the pear and ricotta mixture with a third of the sliced almonds. Ladle 8 ounces of cream sauce on top of almonds.
Create a second layer of lasagna, alternating lasagna noodles, pear mixture, almonds, and cream sauce. Layer top of lasagna with final 4 sheets of pasta. Cover with remaining cream sauce (make sure all pasta sheets are covered with sauce). Cover baking dish with lid or aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Top lasagna with remaining almonds and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let lasagna cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.